alana ocano

Alana Ocano is a San Diego based photographer who concentrates on shooting fashion as a collection of soft and illusory moments captured in analogue tradition. For years, photography has served as a meditative means of personal significance to the 23-year-old.


How did the idea for the series come about?


I worked alongside Mel at one of my last jobs and I was left with the fiery desire to shoot her several months after I quit. This particular set is a long-awaited product of consistency and schedule organization. Many shoots (including this one) have been aided by my friend Andrea Franco’s keen styling eye. The time gaps we have between each shoot become a routine exchange of inspirational images. At this point, it’s safe to state that our protocol is getting sick of talking about making it happen until we actually do.


How do you approach these intimate shoots?


I’ve been photographing for years now, but if I have to be honest, I still believe that my work is at its beginning stages. For this precise reason, I feel like my images contain a personable and relatable composition. What I value most out of taking photographs is the creative synchronicity of each individual I work with (stylist, model, brand, etc.). I don’t get as much satisfaction in creating a beautiful image as I do acknowledging that in that precise moment, I am collaborating with others to actualize a vision. The end product, regardless of how flawless it is, remains an extension of my experience with others.


Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?


Of course we can. As a female, I have to admit that I’ve felt overly predisposed to the catering of what is conventionally deemed a ‘beautiful woman’ through the male gaze (needless to say affected by it too). As a photographer, I’ve felt the importance of making a subject look good. Although my line of work inclines mostly towards fashion, I still sense the need to make female spectators feel personally more connected to the subject than distant. I believe that once a body or piece of work communicates this relationship, something so much greater is achieved that deters a ‘wow, she looks good’.


What inspires you?


Traveling, talking to people, books, and other people’s work that reminds me of living.


How would you define beauty?


Anything that naturally moves you; especially if it induces an emotional outpour.


Film or digital?


Film! Always and forever.


What makes you happy?


Human connection, perpetual inspiration, seeing others be perpetually inspired, knowledge, growth.


What’s next for you?


As for right now, I just want to be more consistent with taking photos. There’s a lot of personal satisfaction I get out of it, and I figure that it makes me become closer to the person I see myself being in my life.

photography: alana ocano

model: melanie reiter

stylist: andrea franco